An Extremely Realistic Travel Day (Part 1)

Kylie Klassen headshot
Kylie Klassen
March 1, 2024
Sunrise out the window of Arizona's airport

After having arrived in Dublin a couple of weeks ago, I feel like I’m ready to talk about my traveling experience. It’s time, and some things must be said. And I’ll do it in timeline form so you can truly understand my wacky day. Don’t worry though guys, it has a happy ending, but you'll have to read part 2 for that.

5:00 a.m.: My journey to Dublin began with me waking up in my hometown early in the morning. I said goodbye to my pets and my family and got ready to head out the door. I was all ready to get into the car when I realized that my water bottle was in fact empty! Now, this would seem ideal given that you cannot go through TSA with any water in your water bottle, but for me this was an extreme point of stress. What if I needed to take two sips of water before I went through the security checkpoint??? I was going to need those two sips. So, at top speed I ran into my house and poured two sips worth of water into my water bottle. The only bad thing was, I also poured water down my entire right sleeve which left me covered in Brita water. Not the ideal start to my first international trip. Nevertheless, I headed to the airport soggy and stressed, a weird way to kick off my weird travel day. 

8:00 a.m.: My flight to Chicago had taken off! This section of my trip was perfect! Almost too perfect… seems I had gotten a little too cocky about my luck with travelling. She would be taken down a peg soon enough. 

12:00 p.m.: My flight landed in Chicago! But boy was I hungry! The first step, though, was to collect my bags from baggage claim. I walked past a bajillion food places and made my way out of security to get my bags. After collecting the excessive amount of clothes I had brought (see previous post), I went on a mission for food. Unfortunately for me, there wasn’t any vegetarian options at the McDonald’s. Now, you could be thinking “Ky, didn’t you just say you walked past a BAJILLION food places??” You would be right, that is what I said. The unfortunate news is McDonald's was the only food option before going through security. In addition, my flight to Dublin was set to take off at 7:00 p.m. That means that I couldn’t check my bags until 4:00 p.m. when the Aer Lingus counter opened so I could not go through security just yet. So, it was McDonald’s or bust. That was, until I saw the most innovative and exciting thing I’ve ever seen. A healthy looking vending machine with ready to eat food. And it looked good too! Thanks to this wonderful machine, I was able to eat vegetarian pesto pasta and switch my entire day around. No longer soggy and no longer hungry, I was ready to sit in the airport for three more hours until I could meet up with some people in my program to board our flight to Dublin. The sitting went well, the next part is what got a little bit tricky. 

4:00 p.m.: Bags? Checked! Friends? Found! Nervous? Not anymore! As Reese, Adam, and I walked to our gate we resolved to find some other people in our program and become friends with them while we waited to board. What can we say? We were feeling social and excited to study abroad! As we sat at our gate looking around for people around our own age, we heard over the loudspeaker “Flight to Dublin has been moved to Gate whatever number they said”. Okay, okay, no big deal. The three of us walked over to our new gate. Just ten short minutes later we were sent all the back to the first one. Now, it wasn’t the end of the world. But, the Chicago airport is huuuuuuuuuge and we did in fact walk .5 miles each time we switched gates (a total of 3 times). This wasn’t a huge deal to us though because as long as we got on the plane we would be fine! Right? Right???

7:00 p.m.: Still sitting at our gate (the right one this time), we hear an announcement over the loudspeaker, “The nozzle to fill up the plane with fuel is frozen, we are going to have to delay this flight. We will let you know more shortly.”  At this point, we had collected a number of IES Abroad students, most of which were playing a card game  to pass the time. We sat there wondering, "would our plane take off?" On the bright side, though, at least Reese brought Monopoly Deal. 

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Kylie Klassen

I am from Mesa, Arizona and am a third-year at Grinnell College studying English and Anthropology with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies. I come from a big family of 6 people and four pets. I run cross country and track and field. 

2024 Spring
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